The Institute’s academic year commences on 1 August of each year.
To sit an exam with the Institute you will need to register as a student at www.shipbrokers.org. There are three levels of qualification students can attain, depending on their knowledge and experience in the maritime industry.
Foundation Diploma in Shipping
The ICS Foundation Diploma is principally intended for those who are new to the industry. The Foundation Diploma (FD) comprises just two subjects: Introduction to Shipping and one of the Group 2 subjects of the students’ choice.
The two subjects have to be studied for and attempted together. Having obtained the FD, the student can then proceed to the Qualifying Examinations (QE). The two subjects passed in obtaining the FD will count towards the total for qualification towards membership (i.e.. the student only has to pass another 5 subjects).
Professional Qualifying Examinations
The Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) provides a thorough understanding of shipping business for the ambitious professional and all successful candidates should go on to be Members and eventually Fellows of the Institute. The qualifying examination is made up of 16 subjects split into 3 groups:
Students have to sit and pass a total of 7 subjects to qualify for Institute membership. The subjects must include: All four subjects in Group 1; at least one subject from Group 2; and any two other subjects from the list of Optional Papers (Groups 2 and Group 3 subjects).
The Institute allows a student 5 years from the date they first register with the ICS to complete all subjects required for qualification. However, they must attempt at least 2 subjects in the first year, including the compulsory subject, Shipping Business. After the first year, students may attempt as many subjects as they wish at each sitting but they must pass the seven subjects within the five year period. If they fail a particular subject, it may be retaken the following year.
The Advanced Diploma has been designed as a stepping stone into full professional qualification and suits those who have some industry knowledge. Like the Foundation Diploma, the Advanced Diploma is a recognised and respected qualification. It involves taking the ICS benchmark paper Shipping Business plus one other subject from the list of Optional Papers (Group 2 or Group 3 subjects) of the ICS syllabus.
Further information can be found at http://www.ics.org.uk/learning/choosing-your-qualifications.